JOHN RIEWE

Archive for June 2006

I Miss the Cold War

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I’ve from time to time voiced this longing for the days of yore, when nuclear supremacy was a tossup between the US and the USSR. The fact that rational individuals controlled these nations and thus their Deluvian-like capabilities meant that nukes were unlikely to be used, and careful diplomacy and a robust (well, at least compared to today) intelligence network kept both sides more in the know about the other’s shenanigans than either would have the world know. So, the threat of World War III was effectively mitigated. Despite weak leadership from time to time, the US struggled to keep a step ahead of the USSR the USSR likewise struggled to stay on top. This race for nuclear supremacy was very expensive, and ultimately the USSR ran out of money. Sure they still had a lot of nukes, but the admittance that communism was not ultimately to extend throughout the world meant the US and USSR were no longer at odds. Thus, an end to the threat of nuclear war seemed upon us. The world rejoiced, for after decades on the cusp of world destruction, we could live in peace.

But something arose later that put the Cold War into perspective-the proliferation of nuclear arms in nations not blessed with rational men at their respective helms. Unstable minds, maddened with hysteria or fanaticism, who stood as despotic leaders of nations not among the world’s most respected, have determined to obtain nuclear arms to further their nefarious ends. Some have succeeded, like Kim Jong-Il of North Korea. Another,the deposed Saddam Hussein of Iraq, almost obtained such capability before his evil empire was destroyed by a rightfully concerned US. Others like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of the perennial irritant Iran play diplomatic games as behind the scenes he presumably seeks to obtain nuclear arms.

Bottom line? We thought nukes were scary during the Cold War. But in reality Mutually Assured Destruction guaranteed they would not be fired, because only rational players US and USSR had real capability. Now, literal kamikazes have nukes. These maniacal leaders, such as Jong-Il of North Korea, almost as a rule shun diplomacy, making it impossible to analyze their true intent. This is a new challenge that we must race to come up to speed with. In the meantime, we have reason to be concerned. We must pray that Bush, Cheney, Rice, and Company continue to evolve their diplomatic strategy in anticipation of a broad range of contingencies. During the Cold War, we knew what to expect. Now anything is possible. And that is big, when the stakes are nuclear war.

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Written by John Riewe

June 19, 2006 at 3:19 am

Amnesty

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Indeed, I have proclaimed amnesty for all readers of AMERICANREVOLUTION without blogger accounts. That means EVERYONE can comment on the blog. Mind your manners; no foul language will be permitted. My freedom of speech trumps yours because I am the proprietor of the blog. Get involved. Join the Revolution!

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June 15, 2006 at 10:45 pm

"The Democrats Want to Win."

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Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chair Senator Chuck Schumer said today that “the Democrats are tired of losing,” and further clarified by reapeatedly saying that “the Democrats want to win.”. Schumer explained, “That’s what I see, that’s what voters want. They want change.” Now this is the sort of fiery rhetoric that the DNC really needs to energize its base as the campaigns approach. Seriously, though, I think this uninspired babble really captures the spirit of the Dems at this juncture. We know what all they hate about the current administration-the war on terror, NSA “wiretaps” (overblown beyond compare), global warming, price-gouging oil companies (a bandwagon that has unfortunately had a few Republican passengers as well), conservative judges, yadda yadda yadda. What do the Dems have to offer? Nothing more than that nebulous yet iconic entity, Change.

A Harris poll taken early this month showed the approval ratings for congressional Democrats only a couple of points higher than Republicans, so it appears that public dissatisfaction with the congress is non-partisan. If we look ahead to what the voters want to see this fall, the numbers still provide little sense of optimism for the Dems. An ABC News/Washington Post poll of June 3 shows that 40% of Americans think the country should follow Bush’s lead while 42% favor the Democrats’ “plan.” This demonstrates no clear advantage for the Dems; it instead shows that they have far to go in order to change the tide.

A visit to http://www.democrats.com shows how innovative the Dems are in formulating their strategy for the fall. Its full of reactionary populist drivel addressing all the latest headlines coupled with the tired old cast of subjects like “No…real plan in Iraq,” “Tax Cuts for the Rich,” and “Civil Rights…in Jeopardy.” The optimism on behalf of the Dems stands on a shallow foundation whose cement is mixed from premature thoughts that the GOP congress is dead. This optimism on the part of the Dems is contingent upon the GOP’s ability to shore up its image in time for November. There still much time, and the recent good press on Iraq shows how easily the pendulum can swing in the Republicans’ favor. If the best rabble-rousing line Democratic leaders can offer is “we want to win,” then they stand ill-prepared to take advantage of potential GOP weakness in the coming months.

Written by John Riewe

June 15, 2006 at 2:53 am

A Brilliant Stratagem

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In a brilliant piece of strategery, President Bush and a small team including White House counselor Dan Bartlett and Press Secretary Tony Snow surprised the media and pretty much everyone else when Air Force One landed near Baghdad this morning for a visit with Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki and his new fully-installed cabinet. The most fascinating thing about this trip is not the trip itself, nor the obvious security risks involved; instead it is most remarkable the manner in which those very security risks were mitigated. The key was the element of suprise, in effect. But in this era, in which if the Ship of the White House is not leaking the media is standing by with power drills, somehow no one knew what was going on until the President was in the Iraqi capitol gladhanding al-Maliki and company.

The much-hyped Camp David “war summit” provided the perfect cover story. Basically it went down as such: after dinner, the President excused himself ostensibly to get some sleep. Instead he left to catch his 8:00 PM flight to Baghdad. A perfectly executed stratagem.

What point do I stress here? Simply this–I had my doubts that the White House was capable of such an innovation to achieve a diplomatic or PR mission. But today’s events smacked of a classic military artifice, and I love it. Bottom line, the gambit was cool. And our fearless Commander Chief proved once again that he ain’t skeered to do the right thing.

Written by John Riewe

June 14, 2006 at 2:46 am

An Embarassing Lack of Imagination

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Today the Senate takes up debate on Constitutional amendment to define marriage as between a man and a woman, this in response to a renewed push from the White House. Well that is fantastic, as it is a worthy goal; although establishing a sumptuary law in the Constitution strikes me as a little out of sorts. But that is a debate for another time. The problem here is timing. A look at the chief concerns in our nation of the past months reveals a few major issues that have real significance for Americans-immigration, Iraq, Iran, global warming, etc. Immigration and foreign policy really matter now. Then all of the sudden we see Congress taking a couple of weeks to debate the marriage amendment.

Then we think about that fact that the President’s poll numbers are abysmal, and that those for the Congress are worse still. What that means is that not only have swing voters gotten fed up with the astounding fecklessness of the Republican majority, but now the Conservative base has as well. The signs have been there for some time, at least for more close observers; but now they are clear to everyone. And that is scaring (as it should) the Republican Congress now that midterm elections are mere months away. So what better way to get on track than to start shoring up conservative support than to drag out the old standbys; for instance, the marriage amendment. The problem is this-if you are like me, you heard this debate was beginning and immediately thought, “What a pathetic ploy to rally the troops.” This is just the latest blunder in the GOP’s rollicking comedy of PR errors over the past years. It will take more than a pitiful bone-tossing to the party faithful to mitigate losses this November. This Republican congress has shown itself to be more addicted to the cause of reelection than any in recent memory, and so in rushing to satisfy everyone they have succeeded in failing them all. Now, the last bastion of principle, George W. Bush, appears to be aquiescing to the demands of the Congress to stop annoying Republican voters. “We are losing points with our constituency,” they whine. I say wake up, congress, it your own fault, not the President’s.

GOP hopes this fall will rest on two contingencies. One is its ability to fix its hapless PR machine. Second, is whether or not the Dems can put together a somewhat coherent message. Sure the Dems have successfully lambasted the Republican agenda of late, but when they go on the campaign trail they will soon realize that voters want more than finger-pointing; they want a plan, something that has been lacking in the rabble of the Dems. If fed up conservatives fail to show up at the polls this fall, though, that may not matter.

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June 5, 2006 at 5:17 pm

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Written by John Riewe

June 4, 2006 at 6:02 am

Adapted, not stolen

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I’m talking about my tagline. Inspired by Chevrolet’s well-crafted branding initiative of the past year or so, I find the values encompassed by those words especially pertinent to the description of my endeavors here. What exactly is the goal here? To comment without mercy on the political and social goings on in America. I will focus especially on the fecklessness of the reigning mode of business in Washington, D.C.; I shall address as well the products of media-driven hysteria; further I will cast a skeptical eye on any arising issue in the American social, commercial, or governmental structures that produces due cause for concern to American preeminence. I encourage feedback and commentary on mine.

Written by John Riewe

June 4, 2006 at 4:53 am